The summer barbecuing season is finally upon us. Call your friends, family, and neighbors, and show them why your rack of ribs is the best on the block. Or you could visit one of West Michigan’s many barbecue joints, each with their secret sauce or technique. Barbecue is one of the primary food groups of summer, and there’s surely something on the menu to make your mouth water.
BBQ in Southern West Michigan
Kalamazoo Ribfest is the city’s largest annual downtown festival, featuring rib vendors from across the country joining local favorites to help fill your stomach with delicious barbecue on August 3rd to 5th. National entertainment and local bands will take the stage as well, with headliners including Grand Funk Railroad and Rev Run from Run DMC. At the end of the day, the real star of the show are the ribs. Spend the day feasting on some of the country’s best barbecue when you attend the Kalamazoo Ribfest.
American Spoon in Saugatuck has a series of best-selling grilling sauces to help show off your grill skills. Their cherry barbecue grilling sauce is made from fresh and dried cherries, spiced up with chilli paste and brown mustard. It’s sure to be a hit at any barbecue this summer, whether you’re putting it on chicken, pork, or brats. The delicious barbecue doesn’t stop there. Visit their website to see more of what you and your family can be eating this summer!
Arcadia Brewing Company in Kalamazoo has a unique traditional barbecue style eatery! Their kitchen is always coming up with new main and side dishes to feature, made with the freshly smoked and prepared items. As a result, daily servings can be limited, and some items may quickly sell out. It’s just another reason to arrive early and come back often!
Dark Horse Brewing Company in Marshall brings southern comfort food with a twist to Michigan with their Low Country Boil event on Saturday, June 10th. Enjoy barbecue alongside tasty treats including shrimp, crab, corn, potatoes and more while you relax in the Dark Horse Beer Garten. Live music and savory craft beer complete the day’s activities.
The Bell’s Brewery barbecue style consists of both house-smoked meat and a made-from-scratch mentality. With these in mind, this Kalamazoo brewery is making waves with everything from ribs and chicken to pulled pork, brisket, and vegetarian options served right on their patio every Saturday and Sunday. Try some of this inspired fare to complement their delicious beer!
In Coldwater Country, you’re sure to find a nice hole-in-the-wall barbecue joint. These places have some of the best barbecue you can find, from pulled pork to beef brisket. Enjoy a nice dining experience inside or grab your barbecue to go for a picnic at one of over a hundred area lakes.
BBQ in Central West Michigan
Downtown Market in Grand Rapids wants to make sure that you’re having the best barbecue all summer long. On Sunday, June 18th, they’re hosting their Father’s Day Grill Off Class. Spend some quality family time grilling crostini with burrata cheese and grilled flank steak with classic chimichurri and asparagus. If you need to have even more barbecue at the market, the Music at the Market event on June 22nd, July 19th, and August 16th features Slows Bar-B-Q alongside other market staples.
Father’s Day kicks off Smoke Week at Brewery Vivant in Grand Rapids. From June 18th to June 25th, enjoy a full barbecue menu featuring some of your favorite summer meals. Wash it all down with Brewery Vivant’s award winning barrel aged sour, Angelina, which is being launched the same week.
Twisted Rooster in Grand Rapids has a barbecue menu with both fan-favorite classics and modern barbecue fare. Their iconic Twisted BBQ Pulled Pork Sandwich has Michigan slow-cooked barbecue pork topped with sweet crispy noodle slaw and cheddar. The Tower of Ribs is one pound of slow braised ribs, served how you would like. If you don’t want to get your hands covered in sauce, the Soda Pop Pork Lollipops might be for you. These pork shanks are braised in their house-made Dr. Pepper barbecue sauce and served with roasted garlic mashed potatoes and local vegetables. With years of barbecue experience under their belt, Twisted Rooster is filling your summer with their twist on barbecue.
Visit Mountain Town Station Brewery and Steakhouse in downtown Mt. Pleasant. Known for their ribs and beer, this restored railroad depot is a must stop for dinner when in Mt. Pleasant! Visit www.mountpleasantwow.com and click on dining to learn more.
The Muskegon area has everything you need for a good summer: barbecue, beer, and the beach! They have many farm-to-table restaurants and neighborhood mainstays that are sure to please any barbecue lover. Enjoy a meal at one of their many restaurants, or grab it to go and dine on the beach.
Mecosta County is home to some fantastic barbecue. Featuring barbecue in a variety shapes and sizes, you can enjoy their house brewed craft beef or slow smoked barbecue. Food can easily be enjoyed inside and out, making the area the perfect spot to hang out with family and friends over some drinks and barbecue!
The Fremont Chamber of Commerce is hosting their Chicken Barbecue on Friday, June 9th at Veterans Memorial Park. There’s nothing better than enjoying some barbecue outside with other members of your community!
Gull Lake View Golf Club & Resort in Augusta threw their hat in the ring when they opened Charles & Darl’s Smokehouse and Grill. Serving up classic American fare, you’re not going to want to miss the chance to have a meal here. Also, if you haven’t tried Blue Stem yet, it needs to be on your radar. They have wonderful food with one of the best views in the state.
BBQ in Northern West Michigan
Coinciding with the island’s Lilac Festival, the Mission Point Resort on Mackinac Island hosts their annual Purple Pig Roast on Saturday June 10th and June 17th from 1pm to 4pm. Enjoy the delicious barbeque alongside festive favorites including lilac lemonade, lilac inspired cocktails, and craft beer flights. Live music fills the island air while you and your friends hang out on the resort’s spectacular waterfront lawn.
The Island House Hotel on Mackinac Island has the Ice House Bar & BBQ, serving up classic American fare and, most importantly, your smoked barbecue favorites. All summer long, enjoy live music while you dine to your heart’s content on some of the island’s best barbecue.
Hotel Walloon on Walloon Lake has their signature restaurant, the Barrel-Back Restaurant, serving up some of the area’s finest barbecue. From smoked chicken wings to a brisket melt and barbecue pork sliders, you’re not going to want to miss this meal while looking out at the lake.
Some of the best barbecue in Marquette can be found inside the food trucks that make their way around the area. The Wild Blue BBQ food truck serves Kansas City Style Barbecue, from sliders to unique parfaits made up of pulled pork or brisket, vinegar slaw, baked beans, and their signature barbecue sauce. Everything is delicious, made fresh daily, and perfect for a picnic as you adventure around Marquette.
Chef Scott Lyon at the Sommerset Pointe’s Porter Creek Fish House in Charlevoix serves his famous barbecue ribs for dinner every night. Enjoy a nice rack of ribs either indoors or out on the deck overlooking beautiful Lake Charlevoix!
Don’t miss out on some of the best barbecue in the north when you visit Charlevoix! Here you’ll be able to enjoy your barbecue with the warm sunny days, breathtaking sunsets, and amazing views. You can even take your meal to go and visit some of northern Michigan’s finest offerings while you eat.